Student View: Should police uniforms have cameras on them as Obama suggested?


Devesh Kumar

After the issue in Ferguson with Michael Brown getting shot, there were multiple uncertainties as to what happened. The grand jury gave the verdict on Nov. 24. In the aftermath of the verdict, there were violence problems in Ferguson, Missouri. Because of this issue in Ferguson, Barack Obama proposed a three year plan on December 1st, 2014. This plan consists of spending $263 million on body-worn cameras, more training for law enforcement and more resources for the police department, for which state and local governments have to pay half of the cost. $75 million of $263 million are to help pay for the small, lapel-mounted cameras to record police on the job.
[heading size=”15″ margin=”10″]BearingNews asked students: Should police uniforms have cameras on them as Obama suggested?[/heading]  
“I think that they should because of Ferguson and all the different events that have been happening,” senior Erika Herting said. “It would be important to have that because there has been rioting going on and if people saw the real footage then they will believe it more.” 
“I don’t think so mainly because if police start having cameras on their uniforms, then yeah it might help for those instances where people want the evidence like what happened in Ferguson,” junior Joshua Rhodenbaugh said. “But for the main majority of it, they would be pretty much useless to go over information and if criminals started to realize that all cops had cameras on their uniforms then they might just get some hacker or something to hack into the camera system and then they will be able to know where every cop is at all the time.”
“Yes because it will make things more obvious about what happened because right now, there is a lot of debate over what happened with the Michael Brown shooting like whether he was attacking the police office, if he had his hands up, so if the police officers had body cameras then these cases would be a lot more obvious and it would be a lot more obvious to tell who is right and who is wrong.” junior Emily Getzoff said.
“Yes because they are having so many problems with police and discrimination and blacks and all kinds of stuff that is not supposed to happen,”- junior Braydon Johnson said.
“I do believe that they should have body cameras on them mainly because there have been many cases on inherent racism and also police brutality that have been showing up and have caught the eye of the press. If there were body cameras then perhaps the Darren Wilson case wouldn’t be so fudgy like the witness reports are fairly inconsistent, Darren Wilson’s report in comparison to what the eyewitnesses have said are inconsistent,” freshman Kristine Cho said. “These cameras know what is going on and know what is going on with the police force, perhaps one of the most powerful forces that is so close to us speaking that they have guns, and enforcing the law. There are so many other jobs that have cameras on them 24-7. Police officers should have cameras on them even more so the fact that they have certain governmental obligation to the people to serve and protect.” 
Written and Photos by Devesh Kumar